…and I’m not talking about your Visa! The old adage “Give Credit, Take Blame” — is such an easy way to shine a light on the talent that surrounds you.
“A leader who assumes the blame, and passes the credit, sends a message that mistakes are OK, and that when they happen it will be an opportunity to learn and grow. By inspiring those beneath you, your employees will emulate your best traits, which will include assuming the blame for themselves.”
It might be quicker, or worse, it might temporarily make you look better to keep the credit and give the blame. BUT only for a minute. Those who have earned credit for the idea everyone is working on may be the only one who knows the credit is misplaced, but it’s a tiny act of snubbing someone (however inadvertently) that can really cause an A Team Player to get fed up.
Rewarding the little things that we want to encourage is a great way to keep those positive nuggets coming. Very little will snuff out future contributions quicker than being oblivious to them in the first place. When a potential star performer learns that no matter how hard they work, they get smacked down for mistakes and not noticed for their contributions…. the contributions slow down and the butt covering begins.
The fastest way to see if this is happening in your firm is to look at your team turnover. If more than one person leaves for some reason other than their military spouse transferring to a far away place, you do need to find out what’s REALLY going on. Ask some of these questions of yourself, your current employees, and contact a few former employees to ask them:
- Were there contributions the departed team member made? List them all, be generous. Did they have unique ideas or were they someone who took an idea and filled it out with all the detail or did they take all that and execute with trustworthy success? All those talents (and more) are important.
- Did you recognize them privately and publicly for at least most of the things on your list?
- Is it easy or difficult for you to really, truly acknowledge something someone did? Some people have a hard time with that. How would past and current team members rate you on that?
There are some very subtle ways to acknowledge someone. One of my favorites is to take the email where someone has an idea or suggestion and FORWARD IT. Leave their name on the idea as it routes around the office. Make CERTAIN that you’re a champion of THEIR idea.
Look at your own habits.
- It’s easy to send an email about something that came up… without forwarding it. When you do that, you’re implying that the idea came from you.
- Do you have regular department and law firm meetings? Is there a spot where acknowledgements can take place with some fun?
- Do you hear the people around you? It’s easy to block people out when you have a lot on your mind. By simply opening your eyes and ears a smidge, you can open a space for the creativity others have to take root.
We have some amazing success stories from our Membership on this topic and we’ll be enjoying some of the success stories from law firms nationwide that have grown fabulous practices with a brilliant A Team. If you’re not a Member, but you’re interested in our upcoming Virtual Boot Camp and Summit, we are happy to provide information about how you might qualify to attend as our VIP Guest at no charge.
Email Info@aaepa.com and we’ll send you a paperback book called “The Entrepreneurial Lawyer” and an agenda for our October 6–11 virtual event.
Chief Operating Officer
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128